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Young entrepreneurs set for new investment through new Innovate UK-Panacea Innovation venture 30 Jan, 2018 Author :Stavroula Bitsi


Young entrepreneurs set for new investment through new Innovate UK-Panacea Innovation venture

Innovate UK partners with PanaceaStars and Panacea Ventures to provide early-stage capital and top-tier expertise to UK’s young entrepreneurs across Health and Life Sciences.


Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, PanaceaStars, and Panacea Ventures are today launching a new partnership to fund young entrepreneurs with ground-breaking ideas in the field of health and life sciences. The partnership aims to award up to fifteen small to medium enterprises with between £50K and £250K, funded jointly by Innovate UK and Panacea Innovation.

This partnership aims to establish the next generation of high impact deep science ventures that introduce market-leading solutions within the areas of: Therapeutics, Medtech, Diagnostics & Future Health Technologies and Genomics & Digital Health by providing early-stage companies with accelerated and sustainable growth from early on.

Mina Bekheet, Panacea Innovation’s Chairman and founder commented: “We’re proud and privileged to be working so closely with Innovate UK. We are looking forward to seeing the benefits for our startups arising through this collaboration. The experience and resources of Innovate UK combined with our enthusiasm and ever-growing network of strong corporate partners promises to effectively re-design the landscape of innovative scientific business development”.

Dr Ian Campbell, Director of Health and Life Sciences, Innovate UK, said: “The UK leads the world in health and life sciences. It is vital, both for a strong economy and a healthy society, that we maintain this strength. That is why we need to nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and pioneering projects. Through our partnership with Panacea we hope to bring forward exciting breakthroughs in health and life sciences.”

The programme will work with entrepreneurs to help them turn their scientific ideas into marketable products. The programme specifically targets scientists, academics, industry professionals and other aspiring entrepreneurs. The pipeline has proven to create novel, strong sustainable ventures, which start up quicker and last longer.

The programme has two streams. The open stream allows applicants to work independently on their ideas and business models across all deep science disciplines and at any developmental stage. The structured stream supports early career scientists and entrepreneurs to work jointly on novel preclinical high impact projects.

The programme provides experienced technical and business mentoring support to help the companies develop their proof of concepts, align them to utilise the expertise and tools provided through its corporate partners and provide the necessary early stage investment. Its aims are to:

  • Build the “Silicon Valley” of Deep Science Ventures and positioning the UK as the leading nation in deep science commercialisation
  • Foster Innovate UK support within the life and health sciences start-ups scene
  • Exploit the results of bioscience and biomedical under-valued assets that can help support the development of new products and services across the bioeconomy to build future assets
  • Support a new early-stage seed investment trend to match the growing innovation pipeline
  • Help build a new generation of future leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Help build early relations between board members (senior pharma/biotech executives and investors) who influence start-ups decision-making process and Innovate UK


Notes for editors:


PanaceaStars is Panacea Innovation’s flagship vehicle for mining, de-risking, accelerating, growing and funding early-stage deep science companies. We maintain a core focus on supporting great innovators in their drive to develop proof-of-concepts from the earliest stages and proving they have what it takes to scale their ideas.


Panacea Ventures is Panacea Innovation’s arm for supporting its portfolio investment activities across the entire funding journey of high impact deep science ventures.


Innovate UK helps businesses to identify the commercial potential in new technologies and turn them into the new products and services that will generate economic growth and increase productivity. For further information and to stay updated on our latest news visit, follow us on Twitter at @innovateuk or subscribe to our YouTube channel at


PanaceaStars and Panacea Ventures employ a unique, holistic approach to support early-stage deep science ideas:

  • We provide the complete toolkit of early stage investment, R&D, business support, mentorship, incubation and top-notch industry partnerships.
  • We have brought together a dynamic and successful ecosystem for maximising the impact and returns of our portfolio companies, as well as shorten their gestation times and reduce burn rates.
  • We have just opened our first incubation space in partnership with Magdalene College Oxford and the Oxford Science Park, Panacea Innovation Centre, at the Oxford Science Park, which provides state of the art office and lab space to our portfolio companies
  • It is a 2-phase programme: whereby we de-risk our portfolio companies at the first phase (the accelerator), and then help them fast growing into their next inflection point to introduce their proof of concepts (the Elevator).
  • The Accelerator is free to join with no-strings-attached; while the Elevator is investment and incubation focussed.
  • Towards to conclusion of the Accelerator, the winning team receives a £100K-value non-dilutive prize: £30K in cash, as well as laboratory and office space to develop their proof-of-concept.
  • During the Elevator, shortlisted companies receive £50K-£250K in seed investment, on top of our mentoring, professional services, lab and office space as well as R&D development support
  • The purpose of the Elevator is to assist in the rapid acceleration of our portfolio companies by maintaining core business focus around building their proof of concepts, developing proprietary assets and delivering milestones.
  • We offer 4D mentoring; comprising scientific, business development, legal and IP, and financial mentoring, provided by leading industrial partners.

Through the partnership, Panacea Innovation is aiming to develop its position as a global key player in early stage deep science venture translation, supporting national founders and making the UK the global destination of choice for aspiring high impact sci-entrepreneurs.


Stavroula Bitsi

innovateuk funding innovation life sciences healthcare
WE ARE THE GLOBE’S EARLY STAGE DEEP SCIENCE TRANSLATION AND INVESTMENT HOME. We work with the world’s best minds to kickstart and grow ideas into products that address real humankind needs via novel science and technology. We provide the complete toolkit of early stage investment, R&D, business support, mentorship, incubation and top-notch industry partnerships.